Oil and gas companies ‘can boost road safety with telematics’

Technology said to help reduce frequency of accidents

PHOTO: Oil and gas fleets often travel to remote areas without cellular coverage. Image for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Shutterstock

Oil and gas companies and contractors stand to significantly improve the safety of their vehicles by deploying fleet management solutions, telematics providers say.

Road safety is a priority for firms in the oil and gas sector, whose fleets tend to have a high accident rate, said Bassam Alkassar, CEO of FMS Tech, a fleet management solution provider.

“Oil and gas companies run massive operations. One of our clients’ fleets travelled two million kilometres a month,” he noted.

“They have road accidents regardless of how much defensive driver training they carry out for their employees. It’s always a big issue.”

FMS Tech supplies telematics systems to the UAE’s ADNOC Distribution and ADCO, as well as multinationals like Schlumberger and Haliburton, Alkassar said. The company installs in-vehicle monitoring systems in fleets to monitor driver behaviour and improve driving habits.

“The system records all his driving habits, so you can monitor 24×7 what’s happening on the vehicle. If you don’t rely on technology to help you run your fleet, you know nothing about the vehicle once it leaves your parking lot,” he told Truck & Fleet ME.

Brodie von Berg, sales and marketing director at MiX Telematics Middle East and Asia, also noted that reducing the severity and frequency of crashes is a key priority for the company’s oil and gas customers. “The offering is very much centred on ensuring that the driver is safe and well trained, the vehicle they’re driving is licensed, serviced and inspected, and they understand the risks present on the roads that they’re travelling on.”

MiX Telematics generate driver performance reports based on the data gathered from systems installed in customers’ fleets. The reports are sent to the client, who can identify high-risk drivers and take appropriate action.

Fleets of oil and gas companies often travel to remote locations without cellular coverage, which can make vehicle-tracking an issue, von Berg said. MiX Telematics has many customers in Iraq that sometimes operate fleets in areas without coverage. This is tackled by using the core telematics platform enabled with additional satellite communications, he noted.

“We use smart switching technologies which ensure that we only utilise the satellite communications where it’s necessary to do so, so it makes it a more cost-effective solution to provide unlimited contact with the vehicles.”


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